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It is not just project managers who are taking the PRINCE2 accreditations, so who is taking PRINCE2 and why are they doing it?

I took it upon myself to research why people are undertaking PRINCE2. I interviewed a few of our own students as well as browsed the net in search for answers. Over the course of a few weeks, I was able to gather a number of individual reasons some of which I would like to share below.

There are already tens of thousands of people around the world who are fully qualified as PRINCE2 Practitioners. So extensive is the use of PRINCE2 and its applicability that in the last 12 months over 25,000 people have qualified as PRINCE2 Practitioners. Below are a few of the reasons we received.

Anonymous 1 has just passed her PRINCE2 Practitioner and is a Business Logic Analyst, she “wanted further information on project management processes, I work with Project Managers allot. Now I understand the whole process”. It costs allot of money (approx US$1,000, to do both Foundation and Practitioner levels in PRINCE2 with Africa Value Solutions LTD) so I was keen to find out if Anonymous 1 could have saved herself some money by just completing the Foundation level, especially as all she wanted to do was understand the processes. Anonymous 1 explained, “If I did the practitioner level, I would have the scope to pursue it later on (in my career).

Anonymous 2 recently got made redundant from an administration job and used the funding from her employer to do PRINCE2, “so hopefully I can get a decent job!”

Anonymous 3 is actually a project manager delivering IT projects within the public sector, he recently passed his PRINCE2 Practitioner examinations for the second time (it’s a requirement that PRINCE2 Practitioners refresh their accreditation every five years), I asked what the benefit was to him in doing this, surely as a practicing project manager using PRINCE2 everyday you don’t forget? “It was mainly down to the changes in PRINCE2:, I wanted to make sure I was not missing something new. Also the organisation paid for it so I thought why not?”

Anonymous 4 is an IT Manager and his organisation was looking at standardizing on a project management methodology. He has just completed his foundation level in PRINCE2 and is looking to self-finance the practitioner level as he has bought into the PRINCE2 method. I wanted to find out more about Anonymous 4 situation, I asked, “As an IT Manager, does that mean you’re also the organisation’s Project Manager?” Anonymous 4 is the project manager for purely IT projects and for larger more complex projects that are cross directorates he is co Project Manager/Senior Supplier.

Anonymous 5 is an animator who ended up as a web designer and is currently managing a team within a small organisation. “I’m choosing PRINCE2 because I know nothing about project management – but seem to have ended up overseeing it. I didn’t really want it but there is a need for someone to do it. PRINCE2 came up first in Google – and thats all I really know about it”. A pretty honest reason why Anonymous 5 is looking into PRINCE2, and his answer gives a good insight into how PRINCE2 has become so dominant in the project management field, anyone browsing the web to understand project management can’t help to be bombarded with PRINCE2.

Anonymous 6 “Our projects are getting bigger so we’re going to need more staff – but we can not do that till we’ve got more projects to generate revenue. Structure and direction are being focused on so I figured I better learn about Project Management properly if my team is to expand”. Anonymous 6 is a typical reluctant project manager and we tend to see allot of this within smaller organisations where there is a need for project management skills but a reluctance to recruit the specialist skill. Making do with current in-house staff, regardless of whether their own career paths are pointing to project management, has become more prevalent and incredibly it’s often the individual who has to foot the bill for their own development.

Anonymous 7 is a service manager, working in the private sector for public sector clients. When asked why he recently took his PRINCE2, he responded, “pretty much all the change that I deliver is governed by PRINCE2 and ISO20K. I guess they (the organisation) want me to do more of the project management myself. In practice (doing PRINCE2) just makes me second guess the project and programme elements more.

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I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to speak to me about their recent dealings with PRINCE2, it’s been an interesting insight into how PRINCE2 has started to infiltrate businesses, non project roles and of course the  project management arena.